It has been a while since I updated here. Part of that has been due to recent health issues brought on by the sub-zero temperatures we experience the week before last, which greatly reduced the time I’ve been able to spend in Second Life.
Yesterday was the sixth anniversary (or ‘Rez-Day’ as it’s called by some folks) of my joining Second Life. Sadly, I wasn’t feeling up to celebrating, so it was pretty low-key this year.
I also had to contend with an extended loss of broadband access last Friday, thanks to a cock-up on the part of Virgin Media. That came at the end of a stressful few days as we worked, and waited on the phone, to haggle down the price Virgin are charging. Thankfully, the broadband returned last Saturday, but by that point I’d had to cancel my DJ set at Second Pride, which I was gutted about as I’d been looking forward to it.
But I’ve had some success, at least with my job as Advertising Production Manager for Gorean Whip Radio. With help from a few others (hi to Shaina and Volund!) several new adverts got put together and are now in rotation, making for very happy sponsors. 🙂
And I have a new home in Second Life! I’m renting a small apartment in MetroSomnia, the place where I role-play now, as well as the garage underneath. That has given me an excuse to rez and use the two hover-bikes I have in my inventory, one of which is a two-seater. As the sim is cyberpunk-themed they fit in perfectly, and I’ve taken them for a spin around the city. 🙂 I do need to work on my driving skills a bit more, so I doubt I’ll be persuading anyone to ride with me any time soon. 😛
For a change, I was able to get plenty of photos taken for this visit to BURN2, which is great because words along cannot fully describe the creativity (and craziness) on display on the Playa! 🙂
The theme of this year’s event was ‘Bubblegum & Duct-tape”, so there was much pink gooeyness and tape replacing the roads.
I took these photos on the day before I was due to perform, so it was marginally less laggy walking around the region and I could get unobstructed views of the various builds.
Suffice to say, there were a lot of Bernie Sanders meme pictures dotted around! I guess the Burners decided that he was perfect for a winter festival. 🙂
Incidentally, that last picture is the installation of Patrick Moya, who has an entire region of his own full of his wonderfully surreal creations. He’s in the bottom right of the photo, by the way. 🙂
I caught the end of one of the Saturday DJ shows, which was followed by a live performance by the Changhigh Sisters. They are regulars at just about every BURN2 event I’ve been to, and for once I was able to both watch the show and take some photos. These stills don’t really do them full justice, their performance combines dance, acrobatics and a lot of pyrotechnics!
My show was on the Sunday from 12pm to 2pm SLT, and once again I simulcast it on Gorean Whip Radio. There was a small technical hitch at the start where the radio didn’t get switched to my DJ stream right away, but everything went smoothly at my end. I say ‘smoothly’, but that was because for the most part I had my Firestorm Viewer setting cranked down so that I could still type and control my broadcast setup!
There was a large crowd during my show, and they enjoyed the mix of soul, funk and disco. 🙂 Later on, I was able to bring up my viewer settings enough to snap some photos of the partygoers — lots of sexy pixels on display!
I had a great time, and will definitely be back for the next BURN2 event!
Move On Up — Curtis Mayfield Soul Man — Sam & Dave I Say a Little Prayer — Aretha Franklin Sir Duke — Stevie Wonder (Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay — Otis Redding Try a Little Tenderness — Percy Sledge War — Edwin Starr Walk On By — Dionne Warwick Let’s Stay Together — Al Green Ain’t Nobody — Rufus & Chaka Khan Sweet Love — Anita Baker
It’s My Thing (You Can’t Tell Me Who To Sock It To) — Marva Whitney The Message From The Soul Sisters (Pt. 1 & 2) — Myra Barnes Think (About It) — Lyn Collins Super Bad, Pt. 1 & 2 — James Brown & The J.B.’s Never Too Much — Luther Vandross Le Freak — Chic We Are Family (Single Version) — Sister Sledge Boogie Wonderland — Earth, Wind & Fire, The Emotions
Give Me Just a Little More Time — Chairmen of the Board Play That Funky Music — Wild Cherry Disco Inferno (Single Edit) — The Trammps Proud Mary — Tina Turner Inner City Blues (Make Me Wanna Holler) — Marvin Gaye We Have All the Time In the World — Louis Armstrong
Audio recordings are not working at present — this appears to be a security setting change at the site where I host the audio files, the files are still there. I’m working to get those links accessible again, apologies for the interruption. (Update: Derp, turns out that was a problem at my end, a DNS firewall was stopping me accessing the site where the audio files live.)
Hope you’re all taking care of yourselves out there.
I’ve been mulling this over for a while now, since before the New Year, but now I’m ready to go through with it.
This blog has always been self-hosted, but was subsequently linked to WordPress.com via the Jetpack plugin as a means to make my blogging life somewhat easier.
However, it turns out that WordPress.com is a Pain In The Posterior when used in this manner, both to get the integration fully working on my blog and to manage at WordPress’s end. I’m singularly unimpressed with their apps for Mac and iOS, and ended up going back to writing posts directly in my browser. And while I could use the WordPress apps to read other folk’s blogs, I already use Inoreader for that, which has the advantage of not being limited to just WordPress sites.
I am aware that I have quite a few folks who do use WordPress to subscribe to updates from my blog, and I don’t want to leave you guys behind. One option you have is to use the RSS feed for my site to stay updated — there are lots of apps and services you can use to do that, I personally use Inoreader but there’s also Feedly which is probably the best-known service. The alternative would a newsletter, but that would require some extra work to set up at my end.
So tell me, dear readers — which option do you prefer? If there’s enough interest, I’ll set up the newsletter and invite you to sign up for that.
Cutting the cord with WordPress.com will mean several fewer things for me to deal with here, and right now I’m all about simplifying my online life as much as possible.
This show was broadcast from 12pm SLT on the 1st January 2021, at the WHIP Club House in Second Life. I’d considered doing this show in the early AM, but logistics plus a likely lower listening audience ruled that out.
Part of the playlist was recycled from the one I did for New Year’s Day 2020 because I feel they’re good songs that symbolize a new beginning. 🙂
I bookmarked this post by Strawberry Singh from 2017 — before her joining Linden Lab and becoming Strawberry Linden — ages ago, but never got around to doing anything about it due to… does the ‘all this’ gesture with their hands.
So, as part of my promise to myself to actually blog here regularly in 2021, here are my seven SL facts about myself:
I have always had a female, or slightly female, avatar ever since I joined Second Life nearly six years ago. The thought of changing to a male appearance has never crossed my mind, and frankly I think I’d be very uncomfortable if I did, even more so than if I ever changed back to a more human appearance.
I’ve owned three different types of Linden Home at various points over the years. The first two were the old style, 512 square metre homes — I forget the names, I’d need to look them up on the Second Life website. I do have a soft spot for my current Linden Houseboat in Belissaria, as it has given me the opportunity to try sailing. (With mixed results, but I’m hoping that the completion of Linden Lab’s moving of all SL regions to the Cloud might improve my sailing record.) I’ve not looked at any of the newer Linden Homes, and am not tempted to switch locations.
Music, both played by DJs and performed by musicians and singers in Second Life, is one of the reasons I’ve stayed in Second Life. As someone who is intensely introverted in real life, being able to listen to and enjoy music together with others in a virtual space is incredible!
Related to the point above, becoming a DJ in Second Life, and then a radio DJ on Gorean Whip Radio, allowed me to overcome more of my introversion, while also giving me a chance to share myself through the music that I love. 🙂
I am constantly tweaking my appearance in Second Life, though often in ways that might not be immediately obvious. Part of that has been driven by the evolution of my persona in-world, but I’m also analysing other aspects like the number and weight of scripts I’m carrying on me and the complexity and load times for my avatar. Any opportunity I can find to reduce my script count and complexity is grabbed with both hands!
The colour pink plays a big part in my Second Life. My hair, my clothes, even my furniture! The exact tone varies, and I have been known to turn up in multiple shades. 😀 But there is a method to my apparent madness — it has probably saved me a lot of money by deterring me from buying stuff that either isn’t pink or can’t be coloured pink. (Oh, and my Firestorm viewer is pink too.)
My biggest peeves in Second Life? Definitely gachas, particularly when they contain an outfit I like. Followed by performance lag, and anyone whose avatar is so ridiculously complex that my Firestorm viewer refuses to render them at all.
Overall, this year has been… okay. While I did achieve a lot in terms of DJ sets and broadcasting, I’m acutely aware that my output has been reduced due to anxiety and depression, which resulted in my skipping shows and not applying for some events.
Okay, making a note here, next time stop at three hours, or else do it in the AM on Christmas Day. I didn’t log out of Second Life until after midnight UK time, and didn’t get to sleep until nearly 1am! 😫
But on the plus side, I had a load of fun putting this show together, with a little help from Apple Music. 🙂 Pulled together soul, jazz and reggae covers of various Christmas songs and carols, plus some of my favourite songs of the season. And yes, a couple of songs get repeated in different versions. 😛
I’m now taking a break from DJ-ing and radio until the New Year. Hope you’re all staying safe out there!
Festive Voice-bed: Dubstep Christmas Robot — Jaywalker Jack
O Come, O Come Emmanuel — Enya Purple Snowflakes — Marvin Gaye Walking In the Air (Duet) — Aled Jones Jah Rasta Claus Aka Christmas Time — Cosmo Good King Wenceslas — Mel Tormé Mull of Kintyre — Wings
Happy Xmas (War Is Over) — John Holt Back Door Santa — Clarence Carter King Tubby’s Snow Dub — Roots Radics Meet Scientist And King Tubby Ecce Novum — Ola Gjeilo, The Choir of Royal Holloway & 12 Ensemble O Christmas Tree — GIVĒON Santa’s Got a Bag of Soul — Soul Saints Orchestra In the Bleak Midwinter — James Blake
I Want To Come Home For Christmas — Marvin Gaye White Christmas — Bing Crosby, Pentatonix & London Symphony Orchestra The Twelve Days of Christmas — Peter Broggs Simple Gifts — Alexis Ffrench We Wish You A Merry Christmas — Victoria Monét Deck the Halls — Herbie Hancock Lieutenant Kije Suite, Op. 60: IV. Troika — Paavo Järvi & Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra
O Tannenbaum — Vince Guaraldi Trio In dulci jubilo — Mike Oldfield Just Another Christmas Song (This Time I’ll Sing Along) — Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings This Christmas — Donny Hathaway I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus — Johnny Clarke Ave Maria — Jax Jones Rich Man for Christmas — Lady Saw Es Ist Ein Ros’ Entsprungen — London Brass
My Favorite Things — Tony Bennett Christmas Will Really Be Christmas — Lou Rawls Frosty the Snowman — The Mighty Diamonds Little Saint Nick — The Beach Boys All I Want for Christmas — Bria Skonberg Wonderful Christmastime — Paul McCartney Winter Wonderland — Jeff Goldblum & The Mildred Snitzer Orchestra Happy Christmas (feat. Toots and the Maytals) — Byron Lee & The Dragonaires
Santa Baby — Eartha Kitt Wish You a Merry Christmas / Ahameric Temple — Jacob Miller Last Christmas — Joy Crookes The Nutcracker Suite — Les Brown & His Band of Renown The 12 Days of Christmas — Straight No Chaser
O Holy Night — Mickey Guyton Jingle Bells — Ella Fitzgerald Who Took The Merry Out Of Christmas — The Staple Singers Stop the Cavalry — Jona Lewie Santa Claus Go Straight to the Ghetto — James Brown It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year — Andy Williams Portsmouth — Mike Oldfield Cool Yule (feat. The Commanders) — Louis Armstrong
What Christmas Means to Me — Stevie Wonder The Christmas Song (Merry Christmas to You) — Nat “King” Cole All I Want For Christmas (Is My Two Front Teeth) — Spike Jone & His City Slickers A Christmas Carol — Tom Lehrer Winter Wonderland — Macy Gray Baby It’s Cold Outside — Ella Fitzgerald Fairytale of New York — The Pogues
Apollo 8’s Christmas Eve 1968 Message — Frank Borman, Jim Lovell, William Anders I Believe in Father Christmas — Greg Lake
The final song comes from the (in)famous album Christmas In The Stars, which I will probably play in full next year… 😀
Ghetto Santa — Spyder-D All I Want For Solstice Is My Sanity — H.P Lovecraft Historical Society Last Christmas — Crazy Frog White Christmas (Dubstep Remix) — Iggy Pop Chillin’ With Santa — Derek B Have a Cheeky Christmas — The Cheeky Girls
Awake Ye Scary Great Olde Ones — H.P Lovecraft Historical Society Walking In the Air — Nightwish O Come, O Come Emmanuel (feat. Rick Wakeman) — William Shatner Jingle Balls — Korn When Was Jesus Born? — Lil Gee Dominic the Donkey — Tainted Flavor Away in a madhouse — H.P Lovecraft Historical Society
Something That Santa Claus Left Behind — Peter Cetera Do You Fear What I Fear — H.P Lovecraft Historical Society O’ Holy Night (Erik Cartman) — The Humorist Santa Claus (Has Got the Aids This Year) — Tiny Tim Deck the Halls – Dubstep remix Dana Dane Is Coming to Town — Dana Dane Fishmen — H.P Lovecraft Historical Society
Freddy the red brained Mi-Go — H.P Lovecraft Historical Society Christmas Wrapping — Spice Girls Carol of the Turrets — Harry Callaghan Oh Come All Ye Faithful — Twisted Sister Shake Up Christmas — Train I saw mommy kissing Yog-Sothoth — H.P Lovecraft Historical Society
Leroy the Redneck Reindeer — Joe Diffie Jamaican Drummer Boy — Shaggy If I were a Deep One — H.P Lovecraft Historical Society Mistletoe & Wine — Cliff Richard Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree — Mel Smith & Kim Wilde
A Christmas Sighting [‘Twas the Night Before Christmas] — Meco (feat. R2-D2 & Anthony Daniels)